The Importance of Exhibitions

The States of Incarceration project is a traveling exhibition and series of events that bring together people across the country to share local stories and open dialogue on national criminal justice reform and immigrant detention.

States of Incarceration was created by over 500 students and others deeply affected by incarceration in 20 cities. They grew up in a United States that incarcerates more of its people  than any country in the world – and at any point in its history. Recently, they have witnessed a new bipartisan consensus that the criminal justice system is broken and the intense conflict over how to fix it.

In 2015, they came together to ask: How did this happen? What new questions does the past challenge us to ask about what is happening now? To find answers, they examined their own communities’ histories. Through courses at 20 universities, local teams shared stories, searched archives, and visited correctional facilities. Each team created one piece of the exhibition website below (click to view):

Click to visit the live exhibition map 

Click to visit the live exhibition map 

Images from Past Exhibitions